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Mackenzie Pipeline Hearings Set to Begin in January

The National Energy Board (NEB) said Tuesday public hearings on the long-proposed Mackenzie Gas Project will begin Jan. 25 in the Northwest Territories in Inuvik. If the hearings proceed without further delays, the consortium negotiating the terms of the pipeline expects deliveries to begin in late 2011 (see Daily GPI, Dec. 14).

"In setting the schedule, we wanted to ensure that people affected by the project have full opportunity to participate in the review process," said NEB Chairman Kenneth Vollman, one of three NEB members selected for the hearings.

The schedule is coordinated with the environmental assessment process conducted by the Joint Review Panel (JRP) for the Mackenzie Gas Project. A Cooperation Plan designed to reduce regulatory duplication and provide clarity of process was signed in 2002.

The JRP focus is on the environmental, socio-economic, and cultural issues of the project. The NEB will consider all other issues including engineering, safety and economic matters and will make a decision on whether the project is in the public interest after receiving the JRP's report and the response to it from the federal government.

For a copy of the hearing schedule and procedural updates, contact publications@neb-one.gc.ca.

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